Dizengoff (West Africa) Nigeria Limited, says it is entering into a partnership with farmers in Nigeria, targeting a 75 per cent increase in food and agricultural production in the country in the next few of months.
Speaking at the launch of Amiran Farmers kit from Dizengoff, Mr. Richard Hargrave,Managing Director of the company, said that unless a model of sustainable local food production for small scale farmers is established, it would be difficult for African countries to address the looming food security issues.
The issues threatening food security in Africa, according to him, include growing populations, less and less arable land and an impending water shortage.
He said: “Like many across Africa, our company really wanted to change the curse of poverty and hunger that has pervaded the continent. We frankly believe the old model of ‘Western aid/no trade’ fuels the cycle of food poverty. All around, communities are longing for access to the right tools, knowledge and support to sustainably grow their own food, even surplus, in an economically viable manner.
“It was certain that Africa could never address the looming food security issues unless a model of sustainable local food production for small scale farmers could be successfully established.”
Hargrave maintained that with the Amiran Farmers Kit, the company aims to provide a holistic approach to empower farmers to grow more from less, while helping to get the hungry, jobless disaffected youth off the city streets and back into productive farming.
According to him, Dizengoff intends to bring every day, all year round, a steady supply of bigger, better and less costly fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and other vegetables into every food market of every city, town and village of Nigeria.
He said: “The Farmers Kit addresses so many of the issues that plague Agriculture in Nigeria today. It gets Government out of the farming business and puts it back into the hands of our youth. The future of Nigeria’s food security must rest with this next generation of new young farmers.
“Our mission is to liberate the small scale subsistence farmer by providing a proven approach to become an agroprenuer, with a middle class income on a permanent sustainable basis, as well as to bring fresh fruit and vegetables to the surrounding communities at affordable prices.
“We have actually increased crop yields, on a per hectare basis, by up to 75 times in gross weight harvested. Our mission is also to eliminate the current scandalous 60 per cent waste of the meagre quantities historically grown the old fashioned ways, turned rotten by poor packing and long arduous transportation from the Northern fields to the urban cities in the South.
“Our dream is to bring locally grown quality produce at stable affordable prices to men and women, young and old, rich or poor, everywhere across Nigeria. Our certainty is that we are going to ensure at last the opportunity for small scale subsistence farmers to enjoy prosperous middle class incomes year round, bringing more food from less space without charging exorbitant prices to ordinary Nigerians.”